Title: Iron Man 3
Release Date: May 3, 2013
Director: Shane Black
Production Company: Marvel Studios
I could say that this is the best Iron Man film, but that would be damning it with faint praise. I find it puzzling that Robert Downey, Jr. and his take on Tony Stark are so good in collaboration with the other Avengers, but his solo movies are just self-indulgent excess. And there is a lot of excess in this mess of a movie, just tons of stuff thrown at the screen to see what works. Which makes it so weird that it’s actually somewhat entertaining.
Following up on the Battle of New York in The Avengers, Stark is dealing with PTSD. This is the main plot of the first act of the movie, but then seems to be discarded along the way when it comes time to start blowing stuff up. The second act gives Stark a kid named Haley (Ty Sympkins) for a sidekick, with some interesting surrogate father/son dynamics. This is also discarded before the third act. For much of the movie Stark is forced to work without an Iron Man suit, which is also an interesting approach as we get to see Downey, Jr. working things out with cleverness rather than technology. But the absence of the Iron Man suit is atoned for in the explosive finale where he and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) win with a metric shitton of Iron Man suits.
The villain in this movie is Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a mad scientist who sought Stark’s help 14 years earlier, but Stark rejected him, and so he becomes a supervillain to get revenge. This is totally the premise of The Incredibles and I’m not the first one to observe this. Killian and his henchpeople are pretty absurd and largely forgettable. There is a character played by Ben Kinglsey who is at the center of one of the movie’s big twists, and Kingsley plays him so weird that it’s actually delightful. Maybe they should’ve cast Kingsley as the Big Bad instead.
And so I’ve done it! I’ve watched all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and by the time this post goes live, I will have seen Avengers: Endgame as well (and I’ll post that review tomorrow).